Modrall Sperling Law Firm

U.S. Supreme Court Limits EPA and the Corps’ Authority to Regulate Wetlands as Waters of the United States (WOTUS)

On May 25, 2023, a majority opinion of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) in Sackett v. EPA et al., authored by Justice Alito and joined by Justices Thomas, Roberts, Gorsuch and Barrett, held that the authority of the Environmental…

POSTED IN: Alerts, Articles

Back to the Future: What is a Water of the United States?

On December 30, 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and Department of the Army jointly announced their latest final rule (the “2022 Rule”) on the definition of “waters of the United States” (“WOTUS”) under the Clean Water Act’s authority to regulate…

POSTED IN: Alerts, Articles

Stuart Butzier Appointed to Two-Year Term Chairing the International Bar Association’s Mining Law Committee

Stuart Butzier has accepted a two-year appointment to serve as Co-Chair of the International Bar Association’s Mining Law Committee, along with Chilean mining lawyer Pablo Mir. The Mining…

POSTED IN: News, Recognition

Stuart Butzier

Update on New Mexico’s Methane Rules

EMNRD Finalized Regulations A few weeks ago, on May 25, 2021, the EMNRD published its new rules which limit most venting and flaring of natural gas as part of New Mexico’s mission to reduce methane emissions. The rules are now in effect…

POSTED IN: Articles

Recent Biden Administration Orders Affecting the Energy Industry

In his first week in office, President Biden and administration officials have issued various Executive Orders, memoranda and other agency directives reversing previous Trump Administration policies and/or establishing new policies for federal agencies, which some have characterized as a fossil fuel freeze….

POSTED IN: Articles

New Mexico’s Public Lands Commissioner Announces Intention to End Easements to State Lands for Pumping Fresh Groundwater

Public Lands Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard on December 15, 2020 informed companies holding easements granting access for pumping fresh water from state trust lands managed by the New Mexico State Land Office (SLO) that SLO will not be renewing their easements, nor…


New Mexico’s Conditional Certification of EPA’s Proposed Reissuance of the Multi Sector General Permit for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Industrial Activity Raises Significant Concerns

Background In mid-2020, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed to reissue the Multi Sector General Permit (MSGP) for stormwater discharges associated with industrial activity (Permit NMR050000) under the Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 402 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES).  Section 401…


New Mexico Oil Conservation Commission Adopts Rule Changes Concerning Produced Water

On September 3, 2020, the New Mexico Oil Conservation Commission adopted rules changes concerning produced water. See OCC Order No. R-21343-A (Sept. 3, 2020). Under the Produced Water Act, signed into law in 2019, the Commission and the Oil Conservation Division of…


New Mexico Environment Department’s Surface Water Quality Bureau Begins Triennial Review Process

On November 2, 2020, the New Mexico Environment Department’s (“NMED”) Surface Water Quality Bureau (“SWQB”) issued its notice inviting public comment on NMED’s proposed amendments to the State’s standards for interstate and intrastate surface water quality, codified under 20.6.4 NMAC. NMED issued…


New Mexico’s Proposed Methane Rules

Executive Order 2019-003 One month after she assumed office on January 1, 2019, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham issued Executive Order 2019-003.  The executive order finds that methane is a powerful greenhouse gas and that the oil and gas industry is…